Daily Archives: September 11, 2004

‘Many Thais make light work’

The title of this blog is very typical of Thailand. Thais believe in serving with the personal touch unlike in the west where machines seem to have replaced much of the work force. There seems to be a worker for every part of the working process.

Here are a few of the examples I have seen so far:

[b]The Petrol Station[/b]
At the Esso station the other day I counted eight workers on the forecourt filling up cars with petrol and cleaning windscreens and three more workers inside the shop serving. If you drive a car into a petrol station in Thailand you do not even have to get out of the car. This, of course, is a blessing as most of the time it is too hot to stand the heat outside for too long.

This is not the same scenario in the UK. We fill up our own petrol tanks and then go and pay for it in the kiosk, where there will be only one or two workers.

[b]The Car Wash[/b]
You can sit back and relax at this one. You are greeted by one or two workers . (Where are they in England?). You drive the car onto a conveyor belt, turn off the engine and wait for it to take you through the car wash. At the other end there are the same two workers waiting to rub your car down with a shammy leather. All for the grand price of one pound.

[b]The Road Sweeper[/b]
We are used to seeing the road sweeper lorry out and about in the UK’s town and city streets driven by one man. In Thailand, this again is entirely different. They have a lorry too, but the difference is that the whole process is carried out by about seven workers. There is the driver, then in front of the lorry is a man washing the road with a big hose and following on behind are five women sweeping the road with long brooms.

[b]The Multi-storey Car park[/b]
Numerous numbers are involved in looking after this car park in Thailand. On the way in you collect a ticket from one or two workers, (one in a booth and one outside it) and then on each level in the car park is what we would call parking attendants, who salute and help you back into a space. The ‘parking attendants’ have whistles which they blow to signal safety or danger and to let you know when to stop moving. I have yet to work out the differences between the whistles. It all seems the same to me.

It is not unusual to ‘double park’ in the car parks. The brakes of these cars are left off, whilst the owners shop. This is to enable the attendants to shunt the cars back and forth to free the blocked in cars when their owners return.

On the way out of the car park, you give your ticket to another worker and then quite often there is a another man with a whistle to help you turn onto the main road.

In England, we would probably only have one or two workers, who would wander around the car parks making sure we have bought a parking ticket.

[b]The Shops[/b]
Thai shops are just teeming with workers waiting to help and serve you. This feels a bit strange coming from the UK where it can take what seems hours to find someone to assist you.

In the bigger shops, you have to leave your bags at the door with attendants who will give you a tag and look after your bags whilst you shop.

In Supermarkets, your bags are packed for you and the cashier will start serving the next customer whilst waiting for you to pay for your food, thus saving time. There are also many more checkouts which leads to few queues.

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I haven’t posted in a few days, been busy with life 😉

I did want to post a list of famous (sarcastic) quotes that I found on a Pattaya news website a while back. I thought they were really cute….

Thirteen famous predictions
by Barrie Kenyon

1. Computers in the future may weigh more than 1.5 tons. (Popular Mechanics 1949)
Man were these guys short-sighted.

2. We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out. (Decca Recording Company rejecting the Beatles 1962)
To think, this is the greatest rock band prior to Silly Fools.

3. The abdomen, the chest and brain will always be off limits to surgeons. (Surgeon General to Queen Victoria 1873)
Said only 100 years ago, kinda frightening.

4. Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. (Professor of Economics Yale University 1929)
Month’sbefore the stock market crash that caused the great depression.

5. The advent of water tight compartments has all but removed the threat from mid ocean collisions. (White Star Line 1911)

6. The telephone has too many shortcomings and is unnecessary for companies with a full
complement of messenger boys. (Western Union Internal Memo 1876)
Was this guy ever fired you think?

7. Data processing is a fad that won’t last a year. (Editor of Business Books Prentice Hall Publishing 1957)
Quite an industry now, seems they may have been drinking.

8. I can assure you that our naval signals are immune to code breakers. (Admiral Donitz to the Japanese ambassador 1942)
Another one proven untrue in WWII.

9. But what is a microchip good for? (IBM Engineer 1968)
Coming from IBM??

10. Seriously to suggest salt and vinegar or beef flavored potato chips is like maintaining that bingo is here to stay. (Marketing Adviser to Smith’s Crisps 1969)
Salt and Vinegar is one of the hottest selling flavors of potato chips in the US, and people still play bingo weekly here.

11. Everything that can be invented has been invented. (Commissioner of US Office of Patents 1899)
Before the Airplane, Rockets, Computers, Velcro and Rollerblades. I mean how much do we even use from the 19th century? 5555

12. 640K ought to be enough for anybody. (Bill Gates 1981)
My computer has 1,528,000 to his 640.

13. The threat of AIDS will have wiped out prostitution as we know it by the end of the century. (Public Health Professor on Larry King Live 1986).
So sad, the only one with a decent hint of truth. We could only wish it could have turned out that way.

I found the letter Kevin wrote to his teacher but he sitting behind me now, so I can’t pull it out and copy. He would just get shy and embarrased. So I will post it next Blog for sure!!!